“Sanctuary Lines” is the third EP from Bristol duo Yard Arms. [EP Review]


Although holding a penchant for melancholic pop, it’s not all doom and gloom with this band, as they produce a dream-like euphoria with their sound. 

The EP opens with hit single “Mantra”, a poetic number with an empowering energy. While they may say things like “it’s all gone wrong”, the general vibe is upbeat. Its theme of a mantra, as something that brings steadiness to life is placed upon a person with the words “you’re my mantra”, formulating an ode to someone special, a recognition of their importance in one’s life. The further we get into the track the more the energy soars, almost as if the presence of that person lifts them up. 

There are many ways to describe the genre of Yard Arms, but the overarching theme is that of pop, albeit alternative or even emo in places. Something that ties it all together is the familiar feeling of the 80s music energy, which is perfect when you take into account the band’s claim for “Sanctuary Lines” to be “an exploration of combating nostalgia in the modern age”.

“These Four Walls” is the most recent single that features on this EP, pointing more towards those emo vibes. It’s about pining after ‘the good times’, perhaps focusing more on the past and taking the present for granted. Of course, it has slipped into some major isolation themes with Coronavirus, but it is sure to stand the test of time past all of this. Though a heavier tone, there is an overall softness, beset with a sense of desperation held in the deeply emotive vocals.

Though melancholic, “Sanctuary Lines” is fresh for summer - a sense of hope, perseverance and rising above. It builds up to a state of calm, retreating to a close before a final uprising of isolated vocals chanting together, unified in strength and support of one another.

Samantha Mae
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“Sanctuary Lines” is the third EP from Bristol duo Yard Arms. [EP Review]
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